"We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair.
(2 Corinthians 4:8)

Not Distressed

Dear Friends,

      Greetings. We hope you have lived with a song in your heart throughout this past week. With all that is presently happening in the world, earthquakes, wars, looming economic catastrophe, etc. It certainly does behoove us to keep our eyes and hearts heavenward as the waves of the worlds multiple traumas crash on every side.

      It was only when Peter took his eyes off Jesus and began to look at the conditions and circumstances surrounding him that he began to sink beneath the waves. "The ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, 'O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?' "(Matthew 14)

      As the world grows darker and the waves beat higher, the thing that will help us to rise above those waves is faith.

     One dictionary definition of faith is:

     1 complete trust or confidence in someone or something.

     2 strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.

     The Bibles definition of faith is: "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." (Hebrews 11:1)

     And of course the Bible also tells us how to get faith; "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17) We need to read, study, and memorize God's Word.

      We hope the material presented below will be a blessing to you. The first article below has not appeared on any mainstream media of which we are aware, but if true could have profound implications for citizens of the United States. The article has appeared in several non mainstream media. We have not been able to personally check the veracity of the material covered in the article, but it is indicative of the direction events appear to be unfolding in the United States, and many other countries of the world.

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U.S. placed under international police-state

Columbia Conservative Examiner

Anthony G. Martin

December 26, 2009

In the dead of night on December 17, 2009, President Barack Hussein Obama placed the United States of America under the authority of the international police organization known as INTERPOL, granting the organization full immunity to operate within the United States.

According to Threatswatch:

Last Thursday, December 17, 2009, The White House released an Executive Order "Amending Executive Order 12425." It grants INTERPOL (International Criminal Police Organization) a new level of full diplomatic immunity afforded to foreign embassies and select other "International Organizations" as set forth in the United States International Organizations Immunities Act of 1945.

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p>(AP Photo/Peter Dejong).

By removing language from President Reagan's 1983 Executive Order 12425, this international law enforcement body now operates - now operates - on American soil beyond the reach of our own top law enforcement arm, the FBI, and is immune from Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) requests.

What, exactly does this mean? It means that INTERPOL now has the full authority to conduct investigations and other law enforcement activities on U.S. soil, with full immunity from U.S. laws such as the Freedom of Information Act and with complete independence from oversight from the FBI.

In short, a global law enforcement entity now has full law-enforcement authority in the U.S. without any check on its power afforded by U.S. law and U.S. law enforcement agencies.

A bit of background is in order here, and Hot Air provides it:

During his presidency, Ronald Reagan granted the global police agency Interpol the status of diplomatic personnel in order to engage more constructively on international law enforcement. In Executive Order 12425, Reagan made two exceptions to that status. The first had to do with taxation, but the second was to make sure that Interpol had the same accountability for its actions as American law enforcement -- namely, they had to produce records when demanded by courts and could not have immunity for their actions.

Barack Obama unexpectedly revoked those exceptions in a change to EO 12425 last (week)...

Thus, Interpol now can conduct its operations on U.S. soil with ZERO accountability to anyone in this country.

Are you beginning to understand now just what the 'end game' is on the part of those who are currently running the U.S. Government?

Let's go a step further in fleshing out exactly what this means in practical terms. It gets ugly...and scary. Again, from ThreatsWatch:

Section 2c of the United States International Organizations Immunities Act is the crucial piece.

Property and assets of international organizations, wherever located and by whomsoever held, shall be immune from search, unless such immunity be expressly waived, and from confiscation. The archives of international organizations shall be inviolable. (Emphasis added.)

Inviolable archives means INTERPOL records are beyond US citizens' Freedom of Information Act requests and from American legal or investigative discovery ("unless such immunity be expressly waived.")

Property and assets being immune from search and confiscation means precisely that. Wherever they may be in the United States. This could conceivably include human assets - Americans arrested on our soil by INTERPOL officers.

Why would INTERPOL be arresting American citizens on our own soil, without oversight from our own law enforcement agencies? And remember, citizens who are thusly arrested would have no legal authority to demand full documentation from the International Police concerning the charges brought against them.

Andy McCarthy at National Review asks these crucial, sobering questions of the secretive Obama order:

Why would we elevate an international police force above American law? Why would we immunize an international police force from the limitations that constrain the FBI and other American law-enforcement agencies? Why is it suddenly necessary to have, within the Justice Department, a repository for stashing government files which, therefore, will be beyond the ability of Congress, American law-enforcement, the media, and the American people to scrutinize?

At least one answer to these questions is very clear. A coup is underway in the United States of America, the goal of which is to establish complete, unquestioned authority over the citizens--a 'fundamental change' to the United States where citizens have no legal recourse against an authoritarian central government.

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The Endgame? - "The final stages of an extended process of negotiations; "the diplomatic endgame that led to the treaty". The term "Endgame" is evermore being used in reference to the Middle East peace process. This to emphasis when these talks begin, again, they are to be the last and final negotiations to put an end to the Arab/Israeli conflict with the implementation of a "comprehensive peace agreement". And when these peace talks resume, they are not only to be, the last and final negotiations, but also to have a set deadline for completion, and not to drag-on-endlessly, hence "the Endgame". In previous years Middle East peace negotiations were more of a "process", without a set deadline for completion. As it stands now the "timeframe" being suggested, publicly, by the Obama administration is a maximum of two years, for negotiations to be completed. After which the peace agreement would be implemented on a specific date, with a specific timeframe for completion." Whatever the outcome of the negotiations it's going to take "time" to implement each phase of the agreement, e.g. five years, ten years or seven years.................

Abbas signals readiness to resume talks with Israel

reuters.com

RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has signaled a readiness to resume peace talks with Israel if the United States were to set out specific goals for negotiations, official Palestinian news agency Wafa said Saturday.

The remarks published as Washington's peace envoy George Mitchell was due to launch a fresh round of mediation talks, were the first sign Abbas may ease his months-long refusal to resume negotiations before Jewish settlement building stopped.

Abbas told his Fatah group's Revolutionary Council on Friday, "Either Israel commits to a halt of settlement, and the terms of reference, or America comes and says this is the endgame with regard to defining borders, the refugee issue, and other final issues, so we can reach a political solution."

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said agreeing on borders and the status of Jerusalem could sidestep a deadlock over Jewish settlements.

But Netanyahu has not ruled out negotiation on any issue, though if he agreed to discuss Jerusalem's future he could face problems within his right-wing governing coalition, and may then need support from center and left-wing parliamentary parties.

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From The Times

Al Gore tries to cool 'climate spin' by correcting claims of North pole thaw

Hannah Devlin

December 17, 2009

Al Gore's office issued a formal correction yesterday to a speech the former US Vice-President had given earlier in the week that started the latest in a series of "climate spin" rows.

Mr Gore told the Copenhagen summit meeting that the latest research suggested that the North Pole would be ice-free within five to seven years. The Times revealed that this was not the information provided to Mr Gore's office by the climatologist Wieslaw Maslowski, who works at the US Naval Postgraduate School in California.

Dr Maslowski said that his projections suggested that the North Pole would be near ice-free, but that some ice would remain beyond 2020. He also denied providing the 75 per cent figure used by Mr Gore. "It's unclear to me how this figure was arrived at, based on the information I provided to Al Gore's office," he said.

The clarification said that Mr Gore "misspoke" on the polar ice prediction and that he meant that the cap would be nearly ice-free.

Scientists have criticised Mr Gore for basing his talk on unpublished data, rather than relying on the latest peer-reviewed studies. Most researchers agree on a 20 to 30-year time-scale for near ice-free conditions in the Arctic. Mr Gore's office, however, stood by the choice of data. It said that the US Navy research unit was in a stronger position to give predictions as it had unique access to measurements of ice volume by submarines.

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Air France to charge obese passengers for two seats

Obese passengers who are unable to squeeze into a single seat on an airliner are to be charged double to fly with Air France.

20 Jan 2010

This picture, on the aviation news website Flightglobal, reignited debate about obese passengers on planes.

Photo: FLIGHTGLOBAL

From next month seriously overweight flyers will be asked to pay for two seats, or not be allowed on board for "safety reasons", the airline announced yesterday.

"People who arrive at the check-in desk and are deemed too large to fit into a single seat will be asked to pay for and use a second seat," said Monique Matze, an Air France spokesman.

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The Door to Hell - Burning Gas Crater in Darvaza, Turkmenistan

at Vacation Ideas

There are several places around the world that locals believe are a door to hell. Endless catacombs beneath the city of Paris, France for example or Dimmuborgir lava formations in Iceland. When it comes to sheer jaw-dropping effect, however, The Door to Hell by Darvaza in Turkmenistan takes the cake. I would also classify Darvaza as one of the places that should be on the must-visit list of every serious explorer who likes to visit Earth's most breath-taking sites. Darvaza is a gas crater the burning gates of which have been flaming for upwards of 37 years.

The Door to Hell in Turkmenistan,

Photo Darvaza Burning Gas Crater

Turkmenistan is very rich in natural resources. Currently a sovereign country, Turkmenistan was part of the Soviet Union until 1991. It was during rule of Soviet Russia, back in 1971 when geologists were conducting gas drilling in Kara-Kum desert and discovered an underground chamber close to the village of Darvaza (known in Turkmen as Derweze, but sometimes also referred to as Darvaz). The discovery of the chamber was accidental and resulted in drilling rig collapsing, leaving giant gas crater filled with poisonous gases exposed to the world outside. The concentration of gases within the crater was high so nobody dared to go down there. It was then when someone came with an idea to light the gas in the crater on fire so as to burn it before the poisonous fumes engulf the nearby town of Darvaza.

The geologists thought the idea of burning the gas was smart and went ahead with lighting the crater on fire. As it turns out, the supply of quality natural gas below the crater is near infinite as the crater's been burning since. At the time of this post, on June of 2009 the gas crater in Darvaza is still burning and has been since 1971 without interruption. No one can even imagine how much quality natural gas was burnt throughout the 38 years of the crater being on fire. No one can estimate how much more gas there still is. When they first lit the gas crater on fire, they thought the fire would go out after a few days. It's been more than a few day, it's been more than a few weeks or months. It's been decades and the gas crater is burning just as it did the day it was first lit. Putting all economical loses from wasted natural gas aside, imagine the ecological impact this burning gas has cause during decades of non stop burning!

Darvaza Gas Crater at Night with Silhouettes of People

The Door to Hell

The locals from Darvaza have given the burning crater a name that suits it well - The Door to Hell. And everyone who visits Darvaza agrees with the name and finds it appropriate. When you look inside the burning gas crater, you do feel like this is what the door to hell would look like. No one dared to enter the chamber when it was first discovered and no one has dared there since. After all, everyone knows what kind of path a door o hell takes you. And it's not the path anyone would voluntarily want to embark on. Seeing the door to hell with your own eyes, however is an experience like no other. You will have long stayed in awe after experiencing the viciousness of the fire within the gorge of the burning crater. The Door to Hell would be an amazing vacation experience for the adventurous wonderers. This is a vacation idea that your mainstream tour operators don't know about. And that's the beauty of it.

Darvaza The Burning Gates Gas Hole in Turkmenistan

Darvaza and the burning gas crater are located in the central area of Turkmenistan, about 260 km north of Turkmenistan's capital city Ashgabat.

© Vacation Ideas, All Rights Reserved

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The Choral Cure

The Independent

Tessa Thomas

12 January 2010

When Robert Wyatt of the Sixties rock group Soft Machine had an accident that broke his back, it ended his career as a drummer. But it relaunched his life as a singer--and that, he believes, helped him to overcome the depression and drink problems he suffered in later years.

"Singing is the best free drug going," says the wheelchair-bound musician, who began 2010 by dedicating Radio 4's Today programme on 1 January to a celebration of amateur choirs and who has just recorded a disc with sax player Gilad Atzmon. "It does what exercise does, and more."

Perhaps that explains the growing appeal of community singing. There are now more choirs in the UK than fish and chip shops, and a spate of television programmes about choral singing--including Last Choir Standing and the two award-winning series by choirmaster Gareth Malone--suggest that, as Wyatt puts it, "singing together is so much more than making a noise with voices." In the future, he says, "someone will figure out how it works its magic in the brain."

Choral singing can measurably improve physical health. In a paper in the new issue of the Journal of Applied Arts & Health, specialists identify half-a-dozen ways in which it can improve our mental health, from improving cognitive function to social confidence.

But what is more surprising is that singing in a choir can have a strong impact on physical health. "Like walking, singing has always been taken for granted--it's just something people have always done," says lead author Professor Stephen Clift. "But just as walking is now prescribed, the benefits of singing for health are slowly being rediscovered by health practitioners."

Just how is apparent when one walks into a "Singing for Breathing" session at the Royal Brompton Hospital. Led by professional singing teacher Victoria Hume, a bunch of patients croon their way through a series of vocal exercises and songs. It gets your fingers clicking, but the catchiness or quality of the sound is not the point. The purpose of these sessions is to improve the patients' breathing.

John Townsend has suffered severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder for five years. Doctors had him categorised as a lifelong wheelchair case. "Then someone suggested I did this singing programme that was starting up. I just thought it was silly and I think a lot of the doctors did, too. But I quickly learnt it wasn't silly at all."

Within a few months of starting the twice-weekly sessions, the former smoker in his 70s was not only free of the chest infections he had suffered from or years, but was walking regularly without help and was "breathing more deeply than I could remember".

The housework now takes him a fraction of the time it used to, because breathing more deeply and slowly means he takes in more oxygen, gets rid of more carbon dioxide and therefore has increased stamina. In November, the hospital is introducing singing sessions for children with cystic fibrosis and adults with severe asthma.

Patients say it is the singing that makes the most difference--yet the price of it bears no comparison.

"Speech therapy is much more expensive because it's all one-to-one, whereas the singing is in a group--and we're even looking at doing online sessions which will be even more cost-effective," explains Hereford nurse Caroline Evans.

Respiratory consultant Dr Nicholas Hopkinson at the Royal Brompton is a little more guarded, saying that a decreased dependency on medicine and therefore reduced costs "may well" come out in the final analysis after the pilot programme ends in November. "But what is clear is that patients are breathing more slowly and breathing from their diaphragms rather than upper chest, both of which are very beneficial in conditions like emphysema and pulmonary fibrosis."

That such overwhelmingly positive results could transpire for such different conditions doesn't particularly surprise Malone. "Singing is about little flaps of tissue vibrating but it engages so many of the body's systems--the lungs, the heart, the nervous system--that it's not really surprising it has such overall benefits. After a big choral piece you can feel like you have been on a short jog."

A recent study at the University of Stockholm showed that men and women got an oxytocin high when they sang. Oxytocin is not only the hormone of childbirth and lactation: it is also produced during sex. No wonder so many choristers describe sensations of "well-being" to curious researchers.

Meanwhile, a Sidney de Haan research review highlights the way that singing is not only found to enhance energy and mood--even to create a state of "transcendence"--but to boost immunity en route. Samples of saliva taken from singers by Frankfurt University researchers after rehearsals of Mozart's Requiem showed increased secretion of antibodies.

Professor Graham Welch, the professor of music education at the Institute of Education and spokesperson for the national singing programme for schoolchildren Sing Up, offers this as a final solo: "Singing not only improves the body's cardiovascular system, it also reduces the opportunity for bacteria to flourish in the upper respiratory tract, so can help prevent colds and flu."

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     There are many verses in the Bible about singing, and singing with a joyful spirit,and not a dirge, especially unto the Lord. Here are just a few. "And David and all Israel played before God with all their might, and with singing, and with harps, and with psalteries, and with timbrels, and with cymbals, and with trumpets. And the children of Israel that were present at Jerusalem kept the feast of unleavened bread seven days with great gladness: and the Levites and the priests praised the LORD day by day, singing with loud instruments unto the LORD. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing. Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord." (1 Chronicles 13:8, 2 Chronicles 30:21, Ephesians 5:19)

     As is stated in the above article, "the catchiness or quality of the sound is not the point".

     The Bible also confirms this as Psalm 100 ver.100:1 and 2 state, "Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing". You don't have to be a good singer to get the benefits, you just have to sing.

     Many of us are also familiar with the story of David playing the harp to Saul and the effect the music had on a troubled King Saul. "And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him." (1 Samuel 16:23)

     God made us with the need to sing. Why not try it. You have a lot to gain and a lot to lose. A lot of good to gain and a lot of bad to lose.

     Until next week...

Almondtree Productions

"If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself."
(John 7:17)


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